Russian Small and Medium-SizedEnterprises Forum: Finnish-Russian Roundtable
A Finnish-Russian Roundtable ‘Building a Winning Finnish-Russian Coalition in Technology Industry: How to Form an Efficient Subcontracting Chain in the New Economic Reality?’ was held as part of SPIEF 2016. The participants discussed the work of small and medium enterprises in the two countries in the new economic context.
The moderators were Takhir Bikbaev, Board Member of OPORA Russia, and Anders Blom, Board Chairman of Eurofacts Oy.
The Finnish colleagues estimate that due to sanctions and counter-sanctions, Russia’s course for import-replacement and the fall of the rouble, Finnish exports to Russia shrank by a third.
About 32% of SMEs in Finland believe sanctions have had a negative impact on their businesses. An important factor in business has been the change in the rate of the rouble which pushed up the prices for Finnish goods. The speakers noted that businessmen in the two countries need a stable policy and business environment.
A 3% drop in the Russian economy causes a 0.5% drop of the Finnish economy. Since the sanctions were introduced Finland has lost RUB 400 million of which the dairy sector accounted for nearly one half.
The speakers from both countries stressed the importance of cooperation between Finland and Russia, notably with St. Petersburg and the Leningradskaya Region. With consumer purchasing power falling, businesspeople try to meet each other half way, said Dmitry Petrovichev, Presidium Member of the OPORA Russia.
Support of entrepreneurship is a big talking point in Finland, said Eero Kotkasaari, CEO of Joutsen Oy and Co-Chair of the Russian-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation’s SME Working Group. In his opinion, businessmen need not assistance, but a sharing of risks with the state. This is the main task of the authorities with regard to SMEs, Eero Kotkasaari believes.
The speakers also described the activities of their companies in Russia and Finland, cited specific business cases and shared their plans for the future.